S1nist0r Black Ale - 10 Barrel Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
S1nist0r Black AleS1nist0r Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

187 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

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Ratings: 187
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 5
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
10 Barrel Brewing Co. visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RedDiamond on 10-21-2008

We craft our S1NIST0R Black Ale using a special German dehusked black malt that is free of astringency, giving the beer a rich black color without the traditional dark beer characteristics. You will notice subtle hints of chocolate with an easy drinking balance on the back end. In the glass the dark color may look intimidating to some, but don't let this beer fool you. Our unique combination of malts creates a very light body and smooth finish.

28 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 187 | Reviews: 65
Photo of JTROYER
4.88/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

absolutely deliscious darlk and yet very smooth no bitterness at all amazing. If you like dark beer this is a must try. It's definitely in my top 5 of all time favoriet beers I absolutely absolutely love it. Dark and deliscious just like I like it. Everyone who like dark beer must ry this beer

Photo of osbartender
4.7/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great clean finish...much better on draft

Photo of nqdell
4.56/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

5 Star beer that may not be perfect for every occasion but is an anomaly of perfection.

Appearance - Read the label, think Spanish coffee.

Smell - Least strongest attribute, but who cares it's winter and you're sinus' are plugged.

Taste - Words so fancy my vocabulary doesn't do justice , sweet and bitter, liquid crunch 'n munch.

Mouthfeel - Like my tongue jumped on a pile of pillows.

Overall - A drinkable "winter" beer. In a category by itself and won't compare to overbearing , stomach filling, fancy spiced constituents. It truly is one of a kind.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a barely translucent reddish sable with a nice pale tan head that leaves behind substantial lacing. Aroma is smoky and malty with a coffee tone and some subtle nuttiness. Smoky roast coffee flavor has nutty, caramel and toffee hints. Texture is smooth and fairly fizzy, rather pleasing.

Photo of cbarrett4
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice head settling to a decent lace; good and dark. Aromas are mostly malty, dark, roasted with fresh coffee and roasted nuts. The flavor is rich and polished with deep, dark flavors. Has a great texture and balance. Finishes smooth and balanced but with a slight edge from the alcohol. Very nice!

Photo of Purplehat
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great. Smooth with enough bite at the back end, which makes it very refreshing. After trying roughly 15 different beers at The Growler Guys grand opening in Idaho, this was the growler I chose

Photo of chumba526
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

It appears brownish black with a mild brown full-bodied head.

It smells quite sweet and fruity. I get a bit of a citrus and slightly sour smell to the beer. There is a very nice vanilla, coffee and chocolate smell. It has a great smell to it.

It tastes slightly sour. There is a mellow coffee, vanilla and chocolate flavor to the ale. I get a bit of a mild caramel flavor. There is a mild fruity aftertaste I get a bit of a raison and citrus flavor. This is a fairly mellow beer. I feel that though the flavor is quite mild that the beer has a great balance to it. It is a very smooth ale.

There is a moderate low carbonation. It has a great silky and smooth carbonation. I am impressed with how great the mouth-feel is in this beer.

The drinkability is pretty good it goes down smooth but it is not that exciting of a beer so I would only order a glass or two of this beer.

Overall a very nice simple ale that has a nice flavor.

Photo of Docer
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Heard a lot about 10 barrel brewing... missed a tasting at The BeerMongers... and have always seen this Sinister Black bottle around. Finally snagged one up to try... why this as the more common 10 barrel sold around I am wondering?

- Poured into a tall and narrow Hopworks pint mug... can still barely see through it.... very dark brown and clear... minimal head and carbonation in the pour. Leaves a rather light pillow of head.

- Spicy and herbal hop flare on the nose... very pine-like, and very hop-like... the hops I like. Subtle sweet grain notes, light chocolate malt... and oats.

- Smooth balanced lightly sweetened grainy choco brew with a nice slam of bittering and zesty hops.... smooth, and yet robust. Quite tasty... and I bet this would be wonderful on tap.

- Light to medium bodied.... smooth, little chewy... overall pleasant.

- This is quite good, balanced, and tasty.... caught me a tad off guard... especially after reading some of the previous reviews. I am seeing that some are just not very fair. This brew deserves more credit!

Photo of Reidrover
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz from Capilat Market, Salem. Very nicely presented bottle with the red ribbon 'seal" over the cap. Pitch black beer with a really nice frothy,bubbly, big tan head. Aroma creamy coffeee and hot milk, very nice. Flavour is quite nice semi-bitter coffee and slightly dark chocolate tastes, some dark fruits maybe some prune. OK on the palate..not as thick as i expected, but makes this well drinkable. Overall a nice beer.
More of a schwarzbier IMO

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This appears like a regular stout with the mild khaki carbonation, deep brown/blackish hues and nice malty roasted character.

S: The nose has a very light smokiness to it with a mild sweetness. A bit watery, nothing to lose your mind over. A solid beer depending on how much you pay for it.

T: The taste is thin and refreshing with an almond sweetness to it. There’s a very faint bit of milkiness and maple syrup but the palate is so thin you don’t really have time to focus on it. There’s a good balance to it with some mild bittering. The hops present a cocoa dryness that rounds it out nicely.

M: This is very thin but it doesn’t feel like it came up short, it feels intentional, and that somehow makes it ok. The lacing is fantastic, but the coating is relatively minimal, which is a bit anomalous. Again, not disappointing though. I always feel like when someone presents a black ale, it is a genre that is so amorphous it is tough to really determine what you are about to get. Someimtes you get an imperial stout monster like Labyrinth, other times you get this dapper gentleperson. Who can ever tell.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and the color is the only thing that might be offputting to people. It is a strange hybrid that brings a bit of IPA to the table and a bit of Stout in the mix. Overall, pretty solid beer and I would recommend a bomber or two to any willing participant.

Narrative: The hackneyed carriage clipped along steadily over the cobblestone streets and the slick London night was further obfuscated by misty clouds. Sir Grimsly peered at his silver pocket watch and sighed at how long the opera had taken. His finely tailored suit of rich velvet fit precisely and his jet black hair was slicked with a fragrant pomade. “Carlton, please, slow a bit!” He called to the carriage driver. He lifted the lacy ebony curtain and looked out into the dark night and noticed a single cat, staring intently upon the carriage as it slid to a stop. The cat peered knowingly and its obsidian coat shined in the night. It appeared to nod and signal to the magistrate. With a blink it disappeared. Sir Grimsley looked up and noted the mandate from today’s proceedings laying on the adjacent seat, unexecuted. With a forceful sigh, Sir Grimsley signed the stay of execution and set the prisoner free. The night shone with a furious depth, the slick streets ploshed with knowing applause.

Photo of RedDiamond
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wildfire's Black Ale is a beer in search of both a name and a style category. Though the Cascadian black ale may soon gain recognition as a distinct style, I still think of black ales - even enjoyable ones such as this - as conceptual outcasts. They lack the affirmed roastiness of stouts and porters and often taste so similar to ambers or reds that I have to ask, what's the point? Why take what is otherwise an amber or pale ale recipe and add just enough black patent malts or roast barley to paint it black while leaving the taste essentially the same? Is this novelty or innovation?

Either way, Wildfire's Black Ale gives me no cause for complaint, for it is a genuine pleasure to consume. It is a very chocolaty beer not far removed from a brown ale but in a darker shade of chestnut. It has a chocolaty aroma, a solid head, and wild abstract lace. The body appears clear in the sense of lacking haze or particulate matter, but is nearly opaque brown. It tastes smooth and malty with solid but not overpowering bittering courtesy of Perle hops. Worth seeking.

Photo of RedBrewer83
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aggressively poured into pint glass...

A: Pours a light roasted chocolate color, almost like a very thin porter, nice three finger head forms and falls pretty slow leaving nice lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malt, some faint dark fruit, raisin, very light chocolate, a little bready.

T: Smooth light roasted malt, follows the nose for the most part, just a hint of hop on the finish that seems to crisp things up nicely.

M: Lighter body, very nice carbonation, very smooth going down and a dry finish.

D: This is meant to go down smooth and does so very nicely.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this on-tap at Laughing Planet in The Pearl at lunch today; not my first encounter, just the most recent. Pint glass, after a slice of pizza at neighboring Hot Lips.

I added this beer and, yeah, that's REALLY how they spell it...numbers replacing letters, so cute...

A: dark, dark brown - falls short of 'black'; has a faint reddish tint. Poured with a short head, maybe a quarter-finger(?). Fades rapidly to a swirl of film and clinging ring.

S: Husky aroma of dry grains and a notable smokiness. Kind of a 'smoky ashtray', not necessarily bad.

T: Bready malt, toasted to the point of being akin to 'burnt'. Caramel lends a sweetness, some spicier wheat, twist of lemon. The type of beer style (as mentioned in Reddiamond's first review, 'Cascadian Ale') that's a new flavor - intriguing enough for more. Roasted nuts and a cocoa residue in the finish.

M: Just a little thin, not watery. Surprisingly 'refreshing', a modest crispness and carbonation.

D: Tasty and 'sessionable' (though not beholden to the strictest definition). Have enjoyed, if not raved about, this beer whenever I've had it; certainly worth a try.

Photo of kagent777
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber that I picked up in Pocatello on the way back from Yellowstone. Poured into my beer goblet.

Appearance: Black with an off white cap of head. It sticks around through out the glass, the lacing sticks around as well.

Smell: A touch of roast and some cocoa, but mostly I get fruity yeast. I wonder what strain they use. Seriously, the nose is almost tropical fruity.

Taste: The taste is a mild overall flavor. The darkness of the beer does not translate to the taste, in the way one might expect. No roast or stout flavors. Smooth easy drinking with a medicinal or minty even aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium soft carbonation. Has a slick sort of feel to it.

Overall: This beer is truly mixed up and does not fit a style, but it is quite tasty. I would seek this one again.

Photo of flexabull
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes.

First off, don't think this should be categorized as a brown ale, this is more like a black ale.

Anyways... Pours a dark black color with a faint white head.

Aromas are of cocoa, cream, and hints of chocolate. Nose is faint, but pleasant.

Taste is doughy up front, kind of like pretzel dough. Some light creamy coffee, and with a crisp mineral hop finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Crisp carbonation and a nice overall full feeling.

Drinkability is also good. The more I drink this the more I think it could be a black lager. Interesting and tasty whatever it is...

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a shaker glass

A- Poured a dark brown with lots of reddish hues shining through, off white soapy head left minimal lace

S- Pretty light aroma but some nice roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee notes

T- Big roasted malt character, lemony and fruity hop character, chocolate, and coffee notes

M- Medium body, smooth, dry, and prickly carbonation

O- Nice Black IPA or Pale Ale, not much bitterness and unique lemony hop profile. I enjoyed it.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours black with cola brown edging. The head is khaki colored and peaks at just under a finger's width. Retention is average at best, giving way to a broken layer of surface suds. Lacing is small and spotty with little stick.

Smell - Light notes of roasted malt and some cola-like sweetness. Hints of milk chocolate.

Taste - Follows the nose. General malt sweetness with hints of cola, chocolate, and very light coffee roast. Subtle notes of fruity esters and maybe even a hint of vanilla and anise in there. A light, 'brightly dark' flavor profile, if that makes any sense.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Lightly silky texture, delivering a smooth, easy drinking experience.

Overall - Pretty good black lager / scharzbier, especially condsidering the style. It's a difficult style to pull off, IMO, because it doesn't quite excel in any particular area. This one has some uniqueness, and it's undoubtedly due to the ale yeast used. Don't go out of your way for it, but definitely something to try if readily available.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another rarity (in these parts, anyway) from msubulldog25. Word to ya, Brian! I dig the thin label strip running vertically from one side of the neck, over the cap and over the other side. Cool! I lack the technical word for this little accoutrement, if there is a word.

Well, it ain't black, but it sure is a dark, dark, dark brown. Nearly opaque, with dark red tinting. The head is a quarter-inch and off-white, reducing to a crown pretty quickly.

Nose is a bright, fresh, nutty thing, hazelnut mostly, along with sweet cream. A little bit of smoke, and a flash of juicy grape and plum round it out, as does some root beer and cola.

Flavor is pretty much all that the aroma hints it will be--nutty toasted grains mostly, but also cola, grape and a milky sweetness. An herbal flare rests in the background, adding some depth. A bit of a tart edge, especially into the finish.

Feel is lively, with carbonation tickling the tongue but not assaulting it, while the body is on the lighter side, remarkably slick and slippery.

And hey, a nice herbal burp results with this one! Overall, Sinister (or S1nist0r) is an enjoyable and solid beer that offers a somewhat interesting take on the well-worn brown ale style.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finger of head, black colored body.
Smell is roasted malt, burnt wood and chocolate with good balance.
Taste has a great roast malt flavor with a little sweet bite.
Fizzy texture. Moderate carbonation and medium body. Slightly sticky.
A pretty good black ale.

Photo of Brad007
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, dark brown/almost black hue with a thin, white head into my glass. Resembles a brown ale more than a black ale.

Label starts to make sense. So, this is sort-of a schwarzbier and not american black ale. In that case, there is a decent whiff of clove that one would expect from a dark wheat.

Flavor reflects this too. Lots of clove, nutty bread and just a tiny bit of banana. Chewy, doughy texture.

Mouthfeel is a bit too clean. Could use more body. Still a respectable finish.

A bit of advice to people adding beer in the near future: Please read the label and review the beer then choose the style that is the closest based on the characteristics.

Photo of allengarvin
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up in Oregon, brought back. Into a Bernardus chalice, this is a very dark, oily black beer with a head that receded nearly immediately, leaving a light film on top. Chocolate and cocoa, slightly powdery smelling, dominate the nose. Pretty good flavor, with lots of chocolate malt balanced by moderately high bitterness (no hop flavor though), and a very light roast overlaying it. Not complex, but a good enough generic dark beer.

Photo of mactrail
3.79/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown, near black in the Belgian chalice. Persistently creamy carbonation in the mouth is the nicest feature. There's a touch of the charred sourness in the nose.

A black marshmallow of a beer. Interesting grainy but smooth taste. The malty sweetness is pleasant, more like a Hefeweizen without the esters. Some slight bitterness woodiness at the finish, but not any actual hop flavors. Lots of roasted taste, even a bit of pecan. All quite warm and unobtrusive with just a hint of cocoa.

This is plenty drinkable, though a little flabby somehow. If this is a Schwartzbier, it's still better than most. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Central Market - Shoreline in north Seattle.

Photo of flagmantho
3.79/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: deep, dark, rich ruby-brown hue, if not quite black. Head poured a thick finger of fizzy tan foam and dissipated somewhat quickly. Not bad, but not majestic like the style usually implies.

Smell: sweet, chocolatey aroma with a little bit of burnt roastiness thrown in. There's also a bit of vegetal hoppiness toward the end. Smells like a decent porter or maybe even a schwarzbier.

Taste: sweet and malty with a little bit of amber-ale character and a very light yeasty spiciness toward the end. Bitterness is low, as is hop character. It really does remind me of a schwarzbier in a lot of ways.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a very big and well-integrated carbonation; the creamy texture balloons out of this bad boy. Awesome!

Overall: a good beer indeed, although perhaps miscategorized. This is, by simple definition, an "American Black Ale", but it definitely does not fit the old "Cascadian Dark Ale" or "Black IPA" categories which "American Black Ale" implies.

Photo of kemoarps
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Body looks like coca cola: not quite as thick or as deep as is my ideal (hey - sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Leave it alone). Gets a deep mahogany/ruby towards the corners. Pillowy dark tan head sticks around leaving great remembrances of its passing.

Aroma is mainly what you'd expect: roasty bordering on burnt, maybe a touch of ash, leading into a bit of acerbic finish. I almost get a touch of vinegar, that I'm hoping is more related to the recently washed windows than the beer,a but I"m not convinced.

Given my impressions of the nose, it's surprisingly smoothe and light once it hits your tongue. Comes on easy with a creamy (both in feel and flavour) approach that toys with the idea of going bitter about halfway through, teasing the tastebuds (had to put the alliteration in there somewhere...), but never fully commits, sticking more towards lighter roasty notes and that impressively smoothe soft body. Not as thin as I expected either, more just lusciously soft but still thick, like a body pillow. It still stays with the roasted grains as promised, but the ashy bitter note is much more subdued on the palate than on the nose (though it still comes through in a pleasantly surprising bitter/dry finish that lingers.

I wasn't sure what to expect approaching this one, and I clearly didn't read the description on the bottle which clearly identifies it as being a modified schwarzbier as opposed to the CDA I was anticipating. This is not a bad thing: far from it. While I don't have a ton of experience with schwarzbiers and they're not my favourite style (especially in the dark category), this one is enjoyable. I was wary as I began my decent into it, but by the finish it demonstrated something I didn't even know I was looking for. Tasty. Try it.

Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to the BA who sent this one out to me as an extra in a past trade. Shared this one with my doppelganger after a day at the gun store. Served from bottle into a New Jersey Devils (my inner Penguins fan is pissed!) shaker. Poured a massively dark amber brown with a four finger off-white head head that subsided to a minimal amount very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, earth, earth hop, and subtle spice. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, spice, earth, earth hop, fruit, dark chocolate, and subtle fruit hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. For the style there really wasn't a lot of roastiness going on in this one as it was more sweet and earthy than anything else. While this was kind of surprising, I really didn't mind it too much if I am honest. This did keep it quite enjoyable throughout the beer, but it just fell a little short of what one would expect from the style. Still a good brew, but just not up there for the style. Worth your time trying at least once, but if you enjoy the roastiness this one MIGHT not be for you.

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S1nist0r Black Ale from 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 187 ratings.